Gambling Industry in 2021 — An Overview & Predictions

Dec 28, 2020 Artyom Ustinov
Let’s face it — the gambling industry didn’t make much progress in 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic befalling the world, many land-based casinos and sportsbooks had to close their doors, losing a significant revenue amount.Gambling epicenters, such as Las Vegas and Macau, suffered heavy blows throughout the year, with properties either fully closed or operating with limited offers (usually working 50% or less).

But what does 2021 has in store for us when it comes to gambling? Let’s check out.

Land-Based Gambling Predictions

Since vaccines are already on their way, with many countries already starting the immunization process, we could expect that land-based casinos will return to normal at some point.However, vaccinating the entire humankind will take a lot of time, so it’s difficult to predict when exactly we would see the gambling industry return to normal. It could take a couple of years before they can return to the pre-covid mode of operating.

One thing is sure: things are bound to get better in 2021, and many operators hope that they’ll not have to stick to stringent health & safety measures anymore. Moreover, casinos hope they’ll give the jobs back to all the furloughed workers around the globe, especially in Macau and Las Vegas.

Sports Betting

The sports betting industry was hit heavily at the start of the pandemic when all sporting events around the globe were canceled and postponed. Suddenly, sportsbooks worldwide were left with basically no options, except for certain esports and small tournaments.The good news is that sports started returning one by one, although without live spectators. Nevertheless, bookies were able to re-start the income streams and continue operating almost like before the pandemic.

It seems that the betting industry is going to recover in 2021. Some of the huge sports events are planned for the upcoming year, including the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics.

Online Gambling

Although online sportsbooks failed to perform well at the start of the pandemic, they eventually started offering all sports and betting markets like during the pre-covid times.However, a segment of the industry that wasn’t affected almost at all was online casinos. As a matter of fact, lockdowns and casino closures sped up the popularization of this type of gambling. It seems that this trend will likely continue in 2021, as an increasing number of casino lovers now enjoy playing games from the comfort of their home or on the go.

Online Poker

Online poker was another segment that flourished during the pandemic, with live poker rooms around the globe closed to stop the coronavirus spread.This actually paved the way for many live tournaments to switch to online play, setting the cornerstone for something that could continue in 2021 and beyond — huge online poker tournaments, such as the WSOP Online, which saw some of the best live poker players in the world play in a digital environment.

Final Thoughts

It’s safe to say that the gambling industry reached some undiscovered depths in 2020, so things can’t get much worse unless another deadly pandemic befalls us. Therefore, 2021 should be the year when the industry starts to recover… or continues to make progress, in the case of online gambling.
Artyom Ustinov

Artyom is Head of White Label & Turnkey Solutions and has been working in complex B2B/B2C sales, as well as business development and management consulting in iGaming for more than 10 years.

Together with the Key Account Management Team, he has helped over 100 start-ups and experienced gaming companies to launch their projects with SoftGamings.

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